Russia has allowed parallel imports – the purchase of branded goods from another country without the permission of the owner of the intellectual property – Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced on Wednesday.
The purpose of the mechanism is to meet domestic demand for goods that are in short supply due to the sanctions.
The measurement goes “guarantee the shipment of goods to our country … despite the hostile actions of foreign politicians”, Mishustin told a televised government meeting, adding that the list of accepted parallel imports will be established in the coming days.
The clearance was introduced as part of a package of measures to support businesses and consumers following the exodus from Russia of major international brands from a wide range of industries amid Western sanctions linked to the ‘Ukraine.
Imported goods will be subject to all existing customs and control procedures to exclude counterfeit products, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service announced on Wednesday.
Parallel imports will be “particularly important for socially important goods such as medicines, foodstuffs and children’s products”, Reuters quoted the founder of Russian online retailer Wildberries, Tatyana Bakalchuk.
Parallel imports are legal in some countries, such as the United States, while other countries require that all imported goods be authorized by the original manufacturers to prevent them from losing control of sales and presentation of their goods abroad. Until Wednesday, parallel imports were banned in Russia and subject to a fine of up to $60,000.
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